I once paid $8 dollars to not see Fear Before the March of Flames. What have you done with your life?
Though, it was probably my fault.
For the record, I just spent about 25 minutes trying to find the exact date, and the archiving of old tour dates is immensely frustrating. Here’s a site plan, someone: just log all the tour dates for every band ever for my immediate perusal. Is that so much to ask?
Fear Before was scheduled to play a show at State Theatre in St. Petersburg. Then, a hurricane happened. If I’m not mistaken, that show was to have taken place on August 1st, 2006. But I could be wrong, as it may have been an earlier show. It’s been at least 7 years, so my memory is hazy.
As the story goes, the band was touring the south. A hurricane done spook’d ‘em, even though it never actually hit Florida.
I didn’t get to see them in high school, so I was excited to finally see them with The Number Twelve, The Jonbenet, and the worst live band I’ve ever seen, Heavy Heavy Low Low.
I bought my tickets from Ticketmaster online and paid some $8 in fees even though the ticket itself was probably only 10 bucks.
Fear Before canceled several days before the show was to take place due to fear of traveling through the storm to get down here to Central Florida. Ticketmaster refunded the price of my ticket, but not their fees. As a naïve kid, I should have asked for a full refund, but never did.
And that is my lame, ill-advised anecdote about paying $8 to not see a band that you didn’t ask for. You’re welcome.
Odd How People Shake is the debut full-length from the Colorado-based mathcore outfit. Much of the album is quite technical, with complicated rhythms and guitar riffs. Later Fear Before records deviate from this subgenre, but manage to incorporate elements from this album, including some well-done bridges.
Song titles rely on pop culture references, including “Sarah Goldfarb, Where Are Your Manners?” (Requiem for a Dream) and “The Lisbon Girls, Oh The Lisbon Girls” (The Virgin Suicides).
Vocals take a page out of the Blood Brothers’ book, as David Marion and Adam Fisher tag team lyrics and melodies. Marion’s voice is reminiscent of Jordan Blilie’s deep, almost guttural howls, whereas Fisher takes the high road, so to speak, a la Johnny Whitney. Figures that two of my favorite bands would have double vocals.
It works though, the multi-layered vocals. Definitely adds a much-needed layer of depth to a genre steeped in clichés.
The lyrics are violent at times, most of the tracks are quite abrasive musically, and guitar nerds in particular will appreciate the technicality. Welcome to mathcore, I guess.
But I don’t know that Odd How People Shake has aged well for me. It sounds much like a band zeroing in on their targeted sound. There are a few bright spots, particular “On The Bright Side, She Could Choke” – a song the band rarely played live, ironically. I just think that, knowing how the band evolved, Odd is nigh of sonic puberty in its awkward growing pains stage.
Also, I can’t wait to write about The Always Open Mouth because of one of the strangest “advertising” clips I’ve ever seen for a band. Oooo, foreshadowing.
Standout tracks: “Fashion Tips Baby” and “On The Bright Side, She Could Choke”
Weakest track: “Sarah Goldfarb, Where Are Your Manners?” or “Motelroom.Grandpiano”
RIYL: Mathcore, post-hardcore, experimental. The Number Twelve Looks Like You, The Jonbenet, early Blood Brothers.